African elephants face growing risk of extinction

African elephants are facing the risk of extinction

Source: International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

The savanna elephant is now classified as 'endangered'

and the lighter forest elephant as 'critically endangered'

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CO-CHAIR OF THE IUCN SSC AFRICAN ELEPHANT SPECIALIST GROUP, BEN OKITA, SAYING:"Now, these results are due to decline in numbers that have been observed over several decades, with forest elephants declining by 86% over a period of 31 years, and the savanna elephant declining by 60% over a period of 50 years, main reasons being poaching for ivory and loss of habitat."

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CO-CHAIR OF THE IUCN SSC AFRICAN ELEPHANT SPECIALIST GROUP, BEN OKITA, SAYING:

"We want to ensure that the global community is aware that this iconic species that we are so, so connected with, you know, across the world is in grave danger and that there is need to reverse the gear."